Reading turns to Adkins to help relegation fight

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READING, England (AP) -- Nigel Adkins made a quick return to Premier League management Tuesday when he was hired by relegation-threatened Reading less than two months after being fired by Southampton.

The 48-year-old Adkins replaces Brian McDermott, who was dismissed by Reading's Russian owner two weeks ago.

"He is perfect for us," owner Anton Zingarevich said Tuesday. "He has great respect within the game, his CV speaks for itself and he has many attributes as a manager.

"He is progressive, he develops players, his teams play attacking, passing football but most of all he knows how to win games at all levels."

Adkins, who signed a contract through the 2015-16 season, takes over a side that is 19th in the 20-team Premier League with eight games left, seven points from safety.

"This is an appointment we have made both with the short and long-term in mind and Nigel can take our club forward," Zingarevich said.

Reading travels to Arsenal on Saturday before a home game on April 6 against Southampton, which is eight points above Adkins' new team.

"We all have to pull in the same direction -- that's the important thing now," Adkins said. "It's a great challenge we've got."

Reading is Adkins' third managerial job. He started out with Scunthorpe in 2006 before moving to Southampton in 2010.